Roma v Liverpool: Police 'can guarantee fans' safety' if they stay within rules

By Dan Roan

BBC sports editor in Rome

Liverpool fans
Liverpool fans have been praised for the "warm welcome" they offered Roma fans at Anfield

Police say they can "guarantee the safety of Liverpool fans" in Rome as long as they stay within Italian rules.

Liverpool have sold their 5,000 tickets for Wednesday's Champions League semi-final second leg against Roma.

The Reds' 5-2 win in Tuesday's first leg at Anfield was marred by an attack on home supporter Sean Cox.

Public order commissioner Giorgio Luciani told BBC Sport it was a "tough challenge" involving more than 1,000 police officers.

But he added: "We are used to managing these events. For the Rome Marathon we organised a police service of more than 1,000 people. For the derby between Roma and Lazio it was the same.

"We can guarantee the safety of Liverpool supporters if they respect the rules and make the day as normal as they can.

"We don't ask for anything special, just that they respect the rules."

Two Italian men have been charged over the attack on 53-year-old Irishman Cox, who suffered head injuries and is in a critical condition. On Monday, doctors were hoping to bring him out of an induced coma.

The incident has been condemned by the two clubs and the authorities, and Luciani said: "It's a terrible episode.

"We are working in synergy with the English police to solve this problem and help them, and vice versa for this match."

Violence before Roma game showed football's 'ugly face' - Klopp

Liverpool asked for an "extraordinary" meeting with Uefa, Roma and Italian police after the first leg and issued safety advice to fans travelling to Rome.

Supporters have been asked not to hang banners or scarves on monuments and fountains, avoid certain parts of the city and arrive at the Stadio Olimpico by 17:00 BST. The match starts at 19:45.

Luciani confirmed that non-ticket holders would have "no chance" of getting inside the stadium.

"They need a ticket and passport or ID card," he said. "This is the only way to gain entrance for the match. Without a ticket, it is not forbidden to watch the match inside a pub, bar or restaurant but not inside the stadium."

Luciani also said no alcohol can be consumed in the street and Rome police will have "a special team dedicated to controlling these rules".

He added: "It's a tough challenge but what is important is for us to enjoy and lead the city for the citizens, supporters, for everyone. We want it to be an important sporting day - nothing else."

Meanwhile, the mayors of Liverpool and Rome have issued a joint message, calling for a "violence-free evening" on Wednesday.

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